Avoid defects. Keep calm and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
ATCO has presented Building and Energy with statistics which describe the most common defects it encounters whilst inspecting gas installation work. Failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions makes up 14 per cent of ATCO’s total defects. These defects can be avoided if proper care is taken to ensure that the manufacturer’s installation instructions are understood and followed.
In accordance with the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999, Regulation 20(1)(b) gas fitters must install appliances to any instruction or recommendation of the manufacturer or designer. This includes the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
These provisions are prescribed in legislation to ensure the safety of the general public and avoid damage to property.
In April 2022, Building and Energy became aware of an installation where a gasfitter failed to affix a protective shield under a gas cooktop installed over a set of kitchen drawers. The protective shield provides protection to occupants in the event the bottom of the cooktop is touched whilst in use. The manufacturer’s instructions stated the shield was to be installed. It was not installed in this case, and the gas fitter was issued with a Notice of Defect.
The manufacturer’s requirements are in place for a number of good reasons. As the designer of the appliance, the manufacturer is acutely aware of specific requirements which may be necessary during installation to make the appliance safe, such as shielding requirements, anti-tilt mechanisms, clearances to combustible materials and range hoods. In some instances, additional fittings or equipment will need to be purchased (such as heat shields) if the manufacturers’ instructions only require these in particular scenarios and are not provided with the appliance.
In situations where the manufacturer’s instructions may be greater than those in the Regulations or vice versa, the gas fitter should implement the greater requirement. Contact the gas supplier for advice, if there is any doubt.
To avoid unnecessary and costly Notices of Defect, gas fitters should make time to read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to install appliances.
- Manufacturers installation instructions | Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (commerce.wa.gov.au)
- The Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations 1999
- Australian and New Zealand Standards, AS/NZS 5601, Gas Installations Part 1 and Part 2.
- GTRC National Certification Database, Gas Appliance Manufacturers, Standards, Natural Gas Industry Of Australia | GAMAA